BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards participated in a briefing about the risks of the Zika virus. Also involved were Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, and Centers for Disease Control Director, Dr. Tom Frieden.
Because Louisiana has been deemed a "high-risk" state, Gov. Edwards had this to say, "As a warm weather state where the mosquito that carries this disease has been found in large numbers, Louisiana is at a high risk for a serious outbreak of this virus, and it is of the utmost importance that we stay on top of this concern to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens."
Gov. Edwards also says he and his staff are receiving regular briefings about the virus and are prepared should there be an outbreak.
The Zika virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women, causing serious birth defects. The virus is spread through the bite of the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which is very common in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Charles, and St. Tammany Parishes.
Gov. Edwards has requested additional funding from the Louisiana Congressional Delegation to help handle the preventative effort. More information about the funding request can be found here.